South Africa


Two more charged in connection with Khayelitsha mass shootings that left several dead

Two more charged in connection with Khayelitsha mass shootings that left several dead
A group of supporters outside the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court called for the release of alleged hitman Yanga Nyalara. (Photo: Vincent Cruywagen)

Another two names have been added to the charge sheet in a case involving mass shootings in Khayelitsha on the outskirts of Cape Town. The State says the three men are behind 18 murders in the area.

On Thursday, Wanda Tofile and Manelisi Ngumla were added as co-accused in the case against alleged hitman Yanga Nyalara, also known as “Bara”. 

The trio briefly appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court for crimes committed between 15 May 2021 and 30 June this year.

Initially, only Nyalara was charged with 18 counts of murder, four counts of attempted muder, and counts of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition in contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA).

The State plans to show the crimes are gang-related, as indicated on the charge sheet:

“In that the accused between the period 15 May 2021 to June 2022, and at or near the places in the districts of Khayelitsha and Goodwood, the accused unlawfully and intentionally performed acts which were aimed at causing, bringing about, promoting or contributing towards a pattern of criminal gang activity.”

Khayelitsha is an area in the Western Cape that has been plagued by violent crime. In the space of a year, 86 people have died in mass shootings in the township.

The most recent crime statistics indicate that Harare police station in Khayelitsha ranks among the top 10 police stations in South Africa when it comes to murder cases.

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Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Nyalara and Tofile face 12 counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder, and counts of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

“On 15 May 2021, in the Y section, Site B Khayelitsha, the State alleges that the two [Nyalara and Tofile] went on a shooting spree which left Gavin Futho, Mzingisi Mbilini, Hassan Mohamed, Mandlakayise Simelane, Thabiso Simelane, Asemahle Mayeiso, Epgalenga Bathani, Thembile Lemani, Siphiwe Azora, Ahamed Abulla, Osman Alukar and Omar Osman Weydow dead.

“Badru Mohamed, Lundi Manyandela, Bulelwa Mlandu and Bonga Maguganzi survived the shootings, resulting in the attempted murder charges against the accused.”

Twelve killed in Khayelitsha weekend murder spree — rivalry between extortion gangs escalates

Elaborating on the POCA charges faced by Nyalara and Tofile, Ntabazalila said they were allegedly prominent members of a gang that operated in and around Khayelitsha, committing violent criminal acts, using fear to extort informal business owners and eliminating rival gang members.

Nyalara is also charged with “Bara” Ngumla for the murders of Khayalethu Nelani, Athenkosi Bonkolo, Mthokozisi Mhlakaza, Asanda Nofemela, Sivuyile Lubobo and Fundisile Mxhontwa. They were shot on 8 May 2022 in Khayelitsha. Lwandiso Singama was wounded in the gunfire.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Six dead in latest mass shooting in Cape Town as police make arrest for previous killings

Senior state prosecutor advocate Mervyn Menigo requested a postponement to allow the State to continue with its investigations. All three accused have indicated that they would not be applying for bail at this stage.

The trio is back in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on 4 October. DM


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